Those of you familiar with internet lore – and indeed law – will have at some point come across Godwin’s Law, which states in its simplest form:
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one
Now, amongst the many ills one can attribute to the mad Austrian – just think how different the world would be today, if he’d made like his countrymen can kept a relative captive in a secret cellar for several years… then again, he did end up in a bunker… hmmm… but I digress – is the fact that he’s basically become the international standard for something horrible.
And by default the name to which people of a moronic bent (on both sides of the political spectrum) can link things that they disagree with, in a puerile attempt to demonise whatever it is they disagree with – in most cases things like – but not limited to – homosexuality, gun control, atheism and abortion. I would have included vegetarianism in there, but according to QI, Hitler wasn’t a veggie – and who am I to argue with Stephen Fry? Possibly the worst example of the argumentum ad Hitlerum went along the lines of “Hitler was kind to animals, therefore animals’ rights groups are Nazis.”
No, I wish I was kidding too.
Needless to say, when you take a mixture of general stupidity, religious and political bigotry and combine it all with a rampant paranoia driven by the fact that the electorate is marginalizing your batshit insane beliefs, then it becomes very, very easy to compare the things you hate to Hitler. Such is a post I came across on the Tea Party Community, the Facebook clone devoted to right-wing fucktards, every conspiracy theory under the sun and “humourous” photos of Michelle Obama photoshopped onto somebody’s overweight body.
Clicking on the link took me to a site called “Now The End Begins” – a mishmash of American right-wing idiocy, that’s basically calling Obama the anti-Christ, who will bring about the end of the world as we know it. The dribbling simpleton behind this site has very “cleverly” come up with “13 Similarities Between Obama And Hitler” – which the unthinking masses over at TPC lapped up with comments such as “Only 13?” (actually there are more going around – Snopes has a good takedown on the longer version). Faced with this list, I thought I’d do what any decent-thinking, baby-eating, gun-hating liberal would do, and throw a healthy dose of reality at the list, and see what sticks.
So without further ado:
- Both Hitler and Obama held rallies in outdoor stadiums to excite and inflame the people’s passions. Frequently women would faint or break into tears.
Wow… so holding a political rally outdoors makes you just like Hitler? Somebody should have told that to George W Bush when he gave a speech at OSU’s Ohio Stadium in Columbus on 14 June, 2002. Or maybe mentioned that to Republican House Speaker John Boehner, or former Republican presidential hopefully John McCain, when they both delivered address at the same venue in 2011 and 2006 respectively.
Not only that, but it’s just another non-argument – show me a politician that doesn’t want to excite the electorate, especially in the US, where their weird brand of democracy means that most people are voting for an individual, rather than an underlying political philosophy.
And if having members of your audience fainting and crying makes you just like Hitler, can we please execute Justin Bieber now and get it over and done with, before he invades Russia?
- Both Hitler and Obama wrote ghost-written autobiographies prior to the start of their run for political office. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle), and Obama wrote Dreams Of My Father. Both men then wrote a second book talking about their goals for German (sic) and America. Hitler wrote A New World Order, and Obama wrote The Audacity of Hope.
Wow… so much “not even wrong” in that statement. The whole thing about Obama ghost-writing his book is just another Birther “Obama can do no good and everything he does/says is dishonest” meme. There probably is a good chance Obama’s book had a ghost writer – although probably not Bill Ayers, as the wingnuts would have you believe. How much would you like to bet George W Bush had a ghost writer for his?
As for Hitler, it’s no secret that he dictated Mein Kampf to his long-suffering 2IC, Rudolf Hess (no wonder he went mad and decided that flying over the Brits was a better idea than hanging around, waiting to take down volume 2). If there was anything resembling a ghost writer involved, then it was Bernhard Stempfle, who corrected the proofs, rewrote certain passages and improved the style of the first draft of the book. A task for which he was rewarded with a broken back and 3 bullets to the chest during the Night of the Long Knives.
And as for the second book – why should the writing of books be a bad thing? It’s just another example of the anti-intellectualism of these people, combined with their need to tar Obama with any brush.
- Both Hitler and Obama originally had last names that were changed later in life. Hitler used to be Schickelbruber (sic), and Obama’s last name was Soetoro.
Once again, not even wrong. The “Hitler’s real name was Schickelbruber (sic)” myth – whilst having some basis in reality, was WW2 Allied propaganda, along with “Hitler was a house painter” – implying he was a labourer who painted the walls of house, rather than an artist who painted pictures of houses.
In fact, Hitler’s father was born Alois Schicklgruber (to use the correct spelling), the illegitimate son of Maria Schicklgruber, in 1837. She later married one father Johann Georg Hiedler, and in 1877, with a promising career in government service and long before Adolf was born, Alois applied to take on his adoptive step-father’s surname. For some reason, this was recored as “Hitler” instead of “Hiedler” and the rest, as they say, is history.
As for Obama, regardless of whether or not he went by Barry Soetoro (the surname of his mother’s second husband) or not, the fact remains he was born Barack Obama and that’s the name by which he’s now known. Ironically, if he had stuck with Barry Soetoro, rather than Barack HUSSAIN Obama, the right-wing haters would probably have had one less thing to freak about.
- Both Hitler and Obama hid their real identies. Hiter had a Jewish ancestry, and Obama a Muslim one. But unlike Hitler, Obama flaunted his Muslim roots in his start as a politician in order to defuse the inevitable firestorm. His ploy of “hiding in plain sight” worked very well.
Again wrong. Ignoring the much-discredited “Obama is a Muslim” bullshit, which can be treated with the contempt it deserves, there isn’t a single shred of evidence that Hitler had ny Jewish ancestry. The only question mark is over who his paternal grandfather could have een – no name was listed on his birth certificate, and his mother did work for a wealthy Jewish family, so it’s possible – but unlikely – that Hitler’s grandfather was Maria’s Jewish employer or one of his sons.
There was a picture shown in 1933 of a grave in Bucharest showing a grave with Hebrew characters and the name Adolf Hiltler, however, there is no way this could be Hitler’s grandfather. That said, Hitler did specifically word the Nazi anti-Semitic Nuremburg laws to specifically exclude himself and Jesus. I wonder why an atheist (according to the right-wing fuckheads) would want to make sure Jesus didn’t fall foul of his laws?
Update: Seems the internet gods are conspiring against me. This was a longer post, but half of it vanished after an updaye, and of course, I’d already deleted the original Word document. Ah well, you get the point…